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Regular version of the site

Article

Russische Exildenker über die europäische Krise der 1930er Jahre

Forum für osteuropäische Ideen- und Zeitgeschichte. 2020. Vol. 24. No. 1. P. 71-92.

The Russian emigrants, who left their country after the victory of the Bolshevik revolution, became witnesses and victims of the first historical attempt to make a totalitarian utopia a reality. Many of them realized that the events of 1917 were only the first act of a general European break with civilization and tried to warn the public in their host countries against the impending catastrophe. However, they achieved little resonance. Contrary to what is often assumed, this had little to do with the language barriers. Numerous writings of the Russian exile thinkers were translated into Western languages; besides, these authors generally mastered foreign languages perfectly and often wrote their treatises in the languages of their host countries. The weak reaction of the Western public to warnings of the emigrants undoubtedly had something to do with the fact that the "Russia beyond the borders" was much less interesting for the German, French or British public than the Soviet state. Apart from a few exceptions, the Western public was primarily interested in the winners, but not the losers of the internal Russian conflict.